Protecting Healthcare Technicians from Mandatory Overtime
- Even before the pandemic, hospitals were facing significant staffing challenges.
- Instead of focusing on hiring and improving workplace conditions, some healthcare facilities have required their patient care staff to take on more patients and work mandatory overtime. This is when an employer requires an employee to work additional hours beyond their regular work schedule.
- Forcing healthcare workers to work overtime increases burnout and decreases job satisfaction - leading to higher turnover and exacerbating staffing shortages.
- Mandatory overtime for healthcare workers jeopardizes patient safety. Unplanned, prolonged working hours without sufficient rest result in higher incidences of mistakes, reduced decision-making abilities, and decreased job performance, all of which can and do endanger patients.
- NY State has recognized the toll mandatory overtime takes on patients and staff and has laws protecting nurses. However, other frontline healthcare workers vital to the safety and care of patients, like respiratory therapists, MRI technicians, and others, need protection too.
The proposed legislation would extend the protections against mandatory overtime for nurses to frontline healthcare technicians. The bill limits the ability of healthcare employers to require technicians to work beyond regularly scheduled hours except in the case of an emergency. The proposed bill defines “technician” as “healthcare workers who are therapists, technologists or technicians, in the specialties including but not limited to cardiac services, MRI imaging services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiologic services, respiratory services, surgical services and ultrasound imaging services.”